March 27th, 2018 | Aislinn Thompson
We may be called ‘Brides’ Up North but it’s fair to say this blog has its fair share of inspiration for the grooms as well – particularly when it comes to romantic proposals! Naomi’s description of Jonathan’s is vivid and the way he takes the pen and writes his proposal on the back of Naomi’s hand has an air of spontaneity that is super lovely. Add champagne in the rain for cinematic value (not to mention a trip to iconic Tiffany) and that’s one memorable way to kick-start married life together.
Naomi and Jonathan chose a cool, rustic location for their wedding celebrations and dressed it up with glorious flower arrangements and atmospheric candlelight.
We’re also going all starry-eyed over Naomi’s beautiful long-sleeved Suzanne Neville dress and that stunning bouquet. Then, just when we thought we couldn’t fall any deeper in love with this big day, the couple go along and cradle a couple of cute golden puppies for some super sweet images *heart literally melts*!
With images by Kate McCarthy Photography.
naomi says: Jonathan and I got engaged in the beautiful gardens of Versailles, Paris on 25th September 2016. Jonathan had organised for us to stay at Hotel Regina, which is the most gorgeous hotel. The morning after our first night, I was told by Jonathan that I had an hour to get ready before a taxi was due to collect us. When I asked where we were going, Jonathan told me it was a surprise and not to ask any more questions. The taxi took us to the Palace of Versailles – my favourite place!
It was a lovely sunny morning as we strolled around the grounds before finding ourselves in one of the more intimate gardens; it was a small, round garden with a stunning water fountain in the centre. There was nobody around, so Jonathan suggested we take a seat and relax for a moment. As we sat, I decided to take my map and pen out to mark which gardens we had covered. At this point, Jonathan took the pen from me and started to write on the back of my hand, covering it up as he did so; when he had finished, I turned my hand to see what he had written. As I read the words “Will you marry me?”, Jonathan got down on one knee and asked if I would do him the honour of marrying him. I think the words I used were “Oh my God! Yes!” As he stood up to kiss me, the heavens opened. I have never seen rain like it! I was crying with happiness but laughing at the rain and how soaked we were getting. It was a surreal moment.
As we reached shelter from the rain, Jonathan pulled out of his rucksack a bottle of champagne and some croissants. “Where is the ring?!” I asked. Jonathan explained he wanted the ring to be exactly what I wanted and that our next stop was Tiffany. We finished our croissants and jumped back into a taxi and headed to the Champs-Elysées. There I chose my perfect ring after having the most incredible experience at Tiffany. From there, we went for an early dinner before heading to the very cool Hotel Costes to celebrate with lots of cocktails!
We got married on 29th September 2017. We really wanted to get married as close to a year from the date that we got engaged but decided to go with that date as it was at the weekend, which we thought would work better all round.
We had both our ceremony and reception at Owen House Barn in Mobberley, Cheshire. We completely fell in love with the venue from the moment we drove up the drive. We knew immediately it was the one, so we didn’t feel the need to look at any other wedding venues. It’s located down a lovely country lane in Mobberley and is situated on a real working farm. The barn is full of quirky rustic charm, yet it has a relaxed feel about it. It is stunning.
For ideas and inspiration, I went on the Brides Up North website so many times and have read so many of the real weddings, which were all so beautiful. For our wedding, we didn’t have a specific theme; however, we did try and keep everything quite simple, a little romantic and within keeping of the style of the barn.
The colour scheme for our wedding was determined by my choice of flowers, which was something I chose quite early on. The colours were a dusky pink/lilac colour, a grey/green colour and brown from the Kraft paper and twine, which doesn’t sound great but it all looked beautiful and tied together perfectly.
For my dress, I wore a Fiorella bridal gown and veil by British designer Suzanne Neville with Swarovski-covered Gina (Cinderella) shoes. The dress was so elegant yet striking in a beautiful and timeless way. It featured a gorgeous corseted bodice and full organza skirt, Queen Anne neckline and long lace sleeves, and a covered lace back with exquisite button back detail. Owen House Barn has an amazing ‘Beauty Shed’ for the bridal party to get ready in; it was so much fun getting ready there on the day of the wedding!
Jonathan wore a Polo Ralph Lauren navy blazer with gold button detail and navy polka-dot silk satin tie, paired with a white shirt and pocket square and black trousers. On his feet he wore classic Saint Laurent monk strap shoes in tan suede to add a little edge.
January 4th, 2018 | Julia Braime
It’s holiday season here on the blog, and as the editorial team take a short break, we’ll be leaving you with a reduced blogging schedule so that you still get your daily dose of wedding lovely. Usual service will recommence on Monday 8th January 2018 (we’re hoping we’ll be over the hangover by then, right?) but in the meantime watch out for recaps of some of our favourite Real Weddings from last 6 months.
Drop in every day for the very prettiest, most unique wedding inspiration and – if you are a Brides Up North bride – to see if your real wedding was one of our top picks.
Ladies, have your pinning fingers at the ready for today’s real wedding is an absolute stunner!
Bride Elizabeth and groom Rob chose the contemporary King Street Townhouse for their city chic wedding that featured all-white blooms, sophisticated décor and just a touch of sparkle through the maids’ gorgeous dresses and a pair of glistening Jimmy Choos. I mean, need we say more?
With images by Kate McCarthy Photography.
elizabeth says: We got engaged during a holiday to the Caribbean island of Guadeloupe. We had stopped off in Paris enroute just to add to the romance. We were in a small village called Deshaies, sat relaxing beside the Caribbean Sea watching the sun slowly setting. It was a very romantic moment and the perfect opportunity for the proposal.
Our wedding was on 30th April. We chose this date purposely as Rob’s birthday falls on 22nd April and mine on 29th April – it gives us the perfect reason each year to go on holiday to celebrate our birthdays and anniversary.
We got married at King Street Townhouse in Manchester. We always wanted the chic city wedding and set to work finding the perfect venue – as soon as we walked into KSTH we both knew immediately that this was the place we would be married.
Our day was a city chic style wedding with lots of grey, white and silver – we really wanted something sophisticated and timeless. We kept the colour palette classic, clean and contemporary.
When it came to picking my dress, I was looking for something totally unique and something that would fit the city chic theme. I had already bought a wedding dress but something in the back of my mind said it wasn’t quite right. I continued searching and found a small boutique, as I walked in I saw the dress. I fell in love with it. I had to have it. Unfortunately, it was a designer sample and wasn’t for sale – I tried it on, it was so perfect. So much so that I refused to take it off until the boutique agreed to sell it to me!
On the day of the wedding, my hair and makeup was done by Ariana Rose, who was superb. She arrived just after 7am and stayed with us for almost six hours, a truly talented professional who not only listens but also offers advice where necessary. Outstanding!
My bridesmaids wore grey dresses with silver and white beading that were bought from Lindybop.
November 29th, 2017 | Julia Braime
If you follow us over on our busy Instagram feed, you’ll know that we’ve been in Southern Iceland as guests of the superb Hotel Ranga for the past few days, chasing the sun and spotting the Northern Lights. Full blog service resumes this evening and we’re bringing you a real wedding that’s as pretty as it is personal (and more on our trip later!).
Opting for a traditional church ceremony and a reception at the stunning Delamere Manor in Cheshire, Steph and Darren chose to keep the focus firmly on them as a couple, deciding against a set wedding theme and instead including meaningful personal touches along the way. One of our favourite being the CD favours – who doesn’t love a good compilation?
We’re also totally in love with Steph’s b-e-a-utiful big day look, the picture of elegance in her lace detailed dress, pink Jimmy Choos and gorgeous natural bridal makeup. We also have to give kudos to Darren, who looks super dapper in his navy suit, demonstrating that’s it’s not just the bride who can bring style to a wedding. Darren is doing it for the grooms!
With images by Kate McCarthy Photography.
steph says: We got engaged in Seville. It was part of a trip to Spain for my 30th birthday. The day started extremely gloomy and wet so we decided to head for a long lunch. We had bellies full of paella and enjoyed our favourite white wine; Marques de Riscal. We went back to the hotel to check into our room to discover our cases had been misplaced. Little did I know the ring was inside the case! After a couple of frantic conversations Darren had with reception our luggage came up to the room and Darren hid the ring box in his back pocket. During a walk of the city, we approached “The Fountain of Love” and began posing for pictures, then Darren got down on one knee – I was speechless!
Our wedding was on Saturday 2nd September 2017. We didn’t have a specific date in mind but the more we thought about it, September was a month we both loved.
We got married at St Bartholomew’s Church in Wilmslow, followed by a reception at Delamere Manor, Cuddington. The church is in my hometown and so this was non-negotiable. For the reception, we wanted a venue none of our friends had got married at and somewhere that screamed Darren and Steph. When we viewed Delamere Manor we fell in love and knew it was the place for us.
We didn’t have a set theme for the wedding, we just wanted a day that would reflect us.
Our colour scheme was silver, and pastel colours such as pink, lavender and baby blue.
I wore a Justin Alexander dress from Puure Bridal in Lymm. I also had a cathedral-length veil (my mum’s request). Puure was the last shop we went to and the place I got my dress. Angie there was so helpful from start to finish. She put me in something I wouldn’t dream of picking, but after a couple of tweaks it really was the perfect dress for the day. My shoes were Lucy from Jimmy Choo, and something I have worn again since.
Georgina Wild did the bridal party’s hair and Maxine Smith did makeup. Georgina is a good friend, and unbelievable hairdresser. She kept me cool, calm and collected during the morning and was versatile with both short and long hair for me, my sister and mum. Maxine was also a fantastic addition to the morning of the wedding – and a great, natural make-up artist.
August 25th, 2017 | Alexis Forsyth
Instantly falling in love with their venue, today’s couple Philippa and Kallum, swapped their original idea of tying the knot abroad for the beautiful Saddleworth Hotel. And we’re glad they did, as their wedding features so much gorgeousness, with dramatic images set against moody skies and captivating woodland.
With lots of rose gold and shimmer, and a punchy hot pink accent throughout their colour scheme, this glamorous yet understated wedding is beautifully complemented by cherry blossom trees, pretty rose petals and peonies galore.
Throw in a spectacular fireworks display, photobooth fun, disposable cameras and even a magician, and you’ve got one wonderfully entertaining and memorable line-up for their special day, as Philippa now reveals…
With images by Kate McCarthy Photography
philippa says: We got engaged in Sri Lanka in December 2016. I had been looking at what trips we could do whilst we were there and found on Instagram all these beautiful photos of people at the top of a mountain called Adams Peak. You’re so high you are above the clouds and it just looked magical, so obviously I made Kallum do it. After a full day trip from our hotel to our accommodation at the bottom of Adams Peak we had to wake up at 2am to get to the top of the mountain to watch the sun rise. After a 3ish hour hike up the mountain we got there way too early and didn’t realise how cold it would be so we just sat there cuddling for an hour to try keep warm; waiting for this once in a lifetime sunrise to happen.
When the sunrise finally came up, it was like nothing we had ever seen before – you really did feel like you were in the heavens. It was quite busy at the top of the mountain now with tourists so Kallum pulled me to one side to take some photos of us without anyone else being around. We walked down a few steps to a secluded spot looking over the mountains and rolling clouds and all of a sudden Kallum got down on one knee and pulled out the biggest diamond I have ever seen in my life and asked me to marry him! It was so surreal, it was the most wonderful and overwhelming surprise of my life. It wasn’t until after we got back down the mountain Kallum told me how stressed he had been (as we got engaged nearly a week into our holiday) keeping it a secret and trying not to lose the ring as we climbed the mountain!
We got married on 10th June 2017. The only reason we chose this is my mum found the wedding venue and this is the only date they had available in the summer. We always said we wouldn’t want a long engagement so we thought, why not?
We tied the knot at The Saddleworth Hotel, in Oldham. We always thought about getting married abroad or outside somewhere more rustic but when we viewed the venue, it was so glamorous we just instantly fell in love with it.
We didn’t have a specific theme, we just wanted everything to feel super sophisticated and glamorous to match with the venue. The tables were covered in gold sequin cloth, which made it feel so luxurious.
Colour-scheme-wise, I’m obsessed with anything rose gold, glittery or shiny which was reflected in the table décor. I was going to have the bridesmaids in a sequin rose gold dress, which looked amazing, but then they tried on a bright lipstick pink dress and they just looked so incredible we had to add that into the day too, so we added the bright pink to the flowers and the groomsmen’s socks.
I wore a beautiful Enzoani backless wedding dress from Scarlett Poppy, in Pudsey. In my mind, I always wanted a very fitted wedding dress that was quite figure hugging and backless. It was the first wedding dress I tried on and nothing else compared to it.
Miley Gardner did my makeup and she was amazing – I felt so lucky to have found her! The makeup she did on the bridesmaids and myself was beautiful and lasted all day long. As for our hair, my amazing friend Vicki did mine and also the bridesmaids’ hairstyles and made everyone look so flawless for the day.
April 10th, 2017 | Laura McDonagh
Today’s bride Zoe was aiming for ‘1940s film starlet’ for her vintage wedding day look. After seeing these photographs, we’re sure you’ll agree that she smashed it. With her tea-length dress, birdcage veil and amazing Ingrid Bergman-esque ‘do’, she looks every inch the glamourous bride.
Retro vibes permeate every aspect of this gorgeous wedding, from the live music to the rich colours of the bridesmaids’ dresses and the stunning floral arrangements. Full marks, guys!
Here at Brides Up North HQ, we’re also touched by Zoe’s advice to brides-to-be: look into your partner’s eyes and not the registrar’s (!), and get thee to a Brides Up North wedding fair. Who are we to disagree?!
With photography by Kate McCarthy Photography
zoe says: We got engaged in Venice at 5.30am on a bridge in Canaregio on 7th May 2016. We’d always wanted to have a two-week holiday in Italy with a week in Venice then a week in Tuscany. We arrived on the Friday and got a water taxi (a complete treat, but obviously Chris knew he was going to propose on holiday whereas I had no clue!)
We love seeing a city wake up, so got up early on the Monday to go and walk round the beautiful streets. We started to cross the bridge right by our apartment and Chris caught my hand, stopped me and said, “Do you love it here?” I replied “Yes, of course” and he then got down on one knee – at which point I started grinning madly! And then he said “Great – in that case, would you do me the great honour of becoming my wife?” and produced the most beautiful emerald cut diamond ring! At this point I wanted to shout “Weeeeeeeeeeeeee!” quite loudly but remembered no one else was awake. Instead, we skipped (literally) down the street grinning our heads off!
Our wedding was planned for 10th February 2017. We wanted to get married quickly but still have some time to plan. We were extremely flexible and so chose our location and then saw what they could offer us – they had this particular Friday free and so we booked it!
Our venue was The Belle Epoque in Knutsford. We had quite a tick list – we wanted somewhere unusual and quirky, with a dancefloor and room for a band but also somewhere with a separate room so that people could sit down and talk. Chris doesn’t dance and so wanted to be able to go around and speak to everyone. I visited it with my mum and, walking in, I was immediately excited; it has a lovely feel, is full of art deco art and pieces, it has a huge welcoming fireplace and the bar is straight in front as you walk in. I spied a room off this entrance with tables and chairs in, so immediately thought that was a tick. We then went upstairs to the dining area which was set up for a wedding – I actually gasped! They had twisted willow and flowers and fairy lights hanging from the ceiling and huge tall vases of flowers, vibrant, rich, opulent colours and gorgeous iris-patterned wallpaper. I was a little bit teary and knew this was the place.
Our theme was a bit vintage and Peaky Blinders, I suppose. I love vintage dresses and wanted to look like a 1940s film star. We didn’t have a colour-scheme as such, but we chose deep reds, purples and pinks for the bridesmaids and flowers. I wanted the bridesmaids to choose their own dress and style but with a vintage theme. I wanted them to be able to wear them again and really enjoy choosing their own dresses!
For my dress, I knew I wanted something in a vintage style from the 40s/50s and tea-length. I started to look on Pinterest and came across a dress that I loved, so went onto the designer’s website and found a local stockist. I went to Puure in Lymm and Angie, the owner, saw me. I tried the dress I’d seen on and liked it but she insisted I try on more – and I was happy to oblige! After another one, she bought a dress out that I looked at and my heart started to beat faster even though it was full-length and had no sleeves! She fastened me up and explained it could be made-to-measure, adjusted to tea length and have three-quarter sleeves fitted. I looked at myself and felt fantastic. My mum grinned and I had a little tear! That was it. It was ivory satin – so rich and so many sumptuous folds of gorgeous material! It had a little belt with a sparkly diamante square buckle, a fitted bodice with a sweetheart neckline and a net top with tiny sparkles on. I had so many lovely compliments. Angie and her team and Sonya, the seamstress were absolutely incredible and made me feel like a 1940s film star on my day!
I wanted my hair setting in a vintage style and so booked the amazing Ewa Baberska, hair and makeup artist, to finish the look. Suzie Taylor was my makeup artist and she was great. I wanted a very natural look as I don’t wear much and she did exactly that, yet made me look fab.
For my headpiece I also wanted something vintage and had met Kaye Hannabuss of Kaye Hannabus Textiles at a networking meeting. We got chatting and I asked her if she would be able to make me something. She made me a fabulous vintage-inspired headpiece with a birdcage veil, a smartie base and a bow. For the evening, she made me a gorgeous hair slide with beads and pearls and diamante. Kaye works with Harris Tweed and so Chris was interested in talking to her about his and Holly’s waistcoats.
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November 14th, 2016 | Julia Braime
Today’s wedding is a stunning example of how a wedding can be both lavish and relaxed.
Working around an elegant blush pink and dove grey colour scheme, Debbie and Darran went all out with the wedding styling choosing striking floral decorations and an abundance of candles to enhance their already stunning venue.
The wedding party looked extra glam too, with the bridesmaids in shimmering grey dresses and Debbie in a stunning fish-tail style gown.
Keen not to overdo the formalities though, the bride and groom opted for relaxed bowl-food style dining, lots of sweet treats and enjoyable live entertainment. A winning combination we say!
With images by Jonny Draper Photography.
debbie says: Our love story began on 25th February 2012. Darran and I had known each other for over ten years, our youngest children went through school together. We had both become single and Darran took the opportunity to ask me to go for a drink with him. Little did I know that 1,527 days later he would become my husband.
We officially got engaged on Sunday 22nd February 2015, Darran got down on one knee on the Sunday morning not long after we had woken up, and he was wearing just his undies! So romantic. The following day we had a surprise 40th lunch to attend. After we left the lunch I suggested we take a drive over to Ashfield House, unbeknown to him I had secretly popped in their six months previously to pick up a brochure. We rocked up unannounced on the off chance that we could get a proper look around. Fortunately for us Katie Street was more than accommodating. From the moment I walked through Ashfield’s front door I knew that this was where I wanted to get married.
To get the ball rolling we made an appointment for the following Saturday to visit Prestons of Bolton to pick out my engagement ring. We had an amazing experience at Preston’s of Bolton, being served with Veuve Clicquot champagne whilst we looked at various diamonds. I had pretty much made up my mind beforehand that I would like a pear cut solitaire, as Darran had bought me pear cut earrings a few years previously.
We set the date of the wedding for Sunday 1st May 2016. We knew that by picking a bank holiday weekend that it would give our travelling guests the opportunity to make a full weekend of it.
Ashfield House was such a perfect venue for the wedding. The building, in our opinion, is stunning with so much character and history. We loved the bright airy feel to the recently revamped Langtree Suite, which is where our ceremony took place.
The grounds at Ashfield House are simply stunning too. Unfortunately for us the weather was wet and temperamental, and although we did manage to get outside to get some fantastic shots, the fact that there are so many places inside for your photographer to shoot some cool original shots is a massive bonus. We also loved the fact that Ashfield House is an exclusive wedding venue Monday to Saturday. On a Sunday they do serve Sunday lunch. This didn’t cause us any problems though as we knew that the lunchtime guests would have left by the time our ceremony took place.
The icing on the cake was that Ashfield House has 15 ensuite rooms with a handful of suites that are competitively priced. This meant that our travelling guests had the beauty of staying over at the wedding venue too.
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